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How Favorite Pastimes Make Us Smarter

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have hobbies, or outlets, that help us relax. Now scientists say these choices can help us think better.

Here are a few pastimes from Lifehack that could make you smarter.

Read a Little or a Lot

If you love to read, you know how amazing reading can be. Need to escape the daily din? Head for the patio and slip into the reading mode. Reading can reduce stress, stimulate thought, expand vocabulary, and provide information on countless topics.

Make Music

Researchers say playing a musical instrument, and listening to music, increases memory ability. Playing an instrument also improves mental focus, and encourages patience.

Travel Locally or Around the Globe

Some of my most interesting friends are veteran travelers. They have been on Everest, ridden motorbikes in Cambodia, and photographed koalas in Australia. Wherever you go, travel can reduce stress, and broaden the viewpoint. Each new place offers fresh ideas, different foods, unique ways of doing things.

Pause to Meditate

The mind works better when we take the time to step away. Meditation helps us figure out who we are. As stress drops, and worries fade, the mind is free to think better. Ideas emerge, and thoughts become clearer. Work just naturally improves.

Create as You Cook

Try new dishes. Explore recipes from other cultures. Learn more about herbs.  I have more cookbooks than I need, but each one is a pleasure to explore. Sites like Epicurious.com can provide a recipe for any food you want to fix. Cooking also teaches children how to focus on details, and follow through. It can encourage multi-tasking, eating healthier, and sharing efforts. Cooking can be as adventurous as you want to make it.

Exercise to Think Better

Researchers tell us regular exercise keeps the brain and body healthy. Studies show cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells, lower stress and encourage better sleep. Choose exercises approved by your doctor and make it a daily habit.

Add Another Language

Take a class. or use a self-help guide, to learn a new language. If you match the language to your travel plans, life will be easier when you take your trip. Acquiring a new language exercises the brain and sharpens the focus.  

It's wonderful that the things we enjoy doing also help keep us sharp. Enjoy your hobbies today! 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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